April 2023 Deal Announcements

Adult Fiction

Author of DELILAH GREEN DOESN’T CARE Ashley Herring Blake‘s DREAM ON, RAMONA RILEY, a f/f rom-com about a small-town waitress who’s spent the last decade raising her baby sister and the child star-turned-party girl who’s in town to shoot a movie and save her reputation; their unexpected reunion reignites old dreams and forgotten crushes, to Angela Kim at Berkley, in a three-book deal, for publication in spring 2025, by Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary Agency (world).

Author of YOU’RE A MEAN ONE MATTHEW PRINCE Timothy Janovsky‘s THE MERRIEST MISTERS, in which a married couple accidentally attacks a burglar who turns out to be Santa, forcing them to assume the roles of Santa Claus and the first-ever merriest mister to save Christmas, while also figuring out how to save their marriage, pitched as The Santa Clause meets HUSBAND MATERIAL, to Eileen Rothschild at St. Martin’s, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2024, by Samantha Fabien at Root Literary (NA).

Sunday Times-bestselling author of A DOWRY OF BLOOD S.T. Gibson‘s EVOCATION, a contemporary fantasy with fortune-telling and tarot, set in a magic-riddled Boston, following an alcoholic psychic, his sorcerer ex-boyfriend, and the ex’s astrologer wife, to Eleanor Teasdale at Angry Robot, in a four-book deal, for publication in June 2024, by Tara Gilbert while at Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency for the first two books, and at kt literary for the second two books (world English).

Linda EpsteinAlly Malinenko, and Liz Parker’s‘s THE OTHER MARCH SISTERS, pitched as a queer feminist take on the lives of Jo March’s sisters, set in the world of LITTLE WOMEN, inspired by details from the very real lives of May Alcott Nieriker (Amy), Lizzie Alcott (Beth), and Anna Alcott Pratt (Meg), with each author enabling these women to finally tell their own stories, to Wendy McCurdy at Kensington, for publication in early 2025, by Rena Rossner at Deborah Harris Agency (world).

Lambda Literary Award winner for Transgender Fiction Jeanne Thornton‘s A/S/L, (an internet initialisim for “age, sex, location”), the story of three teenage friends and game developers, connected only by the nascent internet of the 90s, and who now, twenty years later, meet for the first time in person, each at a critical turning point, in a novel about how we communicate, how we game, and how our transness is lived and seen, to Mark Doten at Soho Press, for publication in 2024, by Jin Auh at The Wylie Agency (NA).

Poet and Lambda Literary Award finalist Ben Ladouceur‘s I REMEMBER LIGHTS, a debut novel following an unnamed narrator as he explores his burgeoning sexuality during the pomp and folly of Expo ’67 in Montreal, and framed by depictions of the raids on queer spaces in that city during the late 1970s, to Hazel Millar and Jay Millar at Book*hug, for publication in spring 2025, by Marilyn Biderman at Transatlantic Literary Agency (NA).

LATimes Book Award finalist and author of EXALTED Anna Dorn‘s PERFUME & PAIN, pitched as a nod to 1950s lesbian pulp fiction, about a controversial L.A. author’s attempt to revive her career post-cancellation and escape the historic trappings of sapphic melodrama in favor of true love, to Olivia Taylor Smith at Simon & Schuster, in an exclusive submission, by Sarah Phair at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (world English).

YA author Daniel Aleman‘s adult debut SORRY TO DISAPPOINT, a suspenseful dark comedy about a struggling gay writer who wakes up to find his date from the night before dead—and must enlist the help of his literary agent to get rid of the body and spin the entire misadventure into his next big book, to Rachael Kelly at Grand Central, at auction, for publication in fall 2024, by Pete Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media (NA).

Emma Sterner-Radley‘s SNOWBLOODED, a swashbuckling queer historical fantasy in which two rival state-sanctioned assassins must cooperate to bring down their city’s elusive seller of illegal magic tonics, to Amy Borsuk at Solaris, in a nice deal, for publication in summer 2024, by Anna Carmichael at Abner Stein on behalf of Saint Gibson (world, excl. NA).

Annabel Paulsen and Lydia Wang’s HOPELESSLY DEVOTED, a lesbian romcom in which two contestants on a popular dating show fall for each other instead of the leading man, to Jess Verdi at Alcove Press, for publication in spring 2024, by Kristy Hunter at The Knight Agency (world).

Author of INSIDE OUT Lor Gislason and Shelley Lavigne’s THE FLESH OF THE SEA, pitched as Our Flag Means Death meets Lovecraft Country, in which a man sets off to explore the high seas after being rejected by the royal society, where he encounters bizarre wildlife and eldritch monsters while grappling with his sexuality and desire to prove himself to the scientific community, to Andrew Robert at DarkLit, in a nice deal, in an exclusive submission, for publication in fall 2023.

Author of STARS COLLIDE Rachel Lacey’s COVER STORY, a sapphic bodyguard romance featuring an A-list actress in need of extra protection who hires a female bodyguard to pose as her girlfriend in order to keep the real story under wraps, again to Lauren Plude at Montlake, by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency (world).

Children’s and Middle Grade Fiction

RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Kim Chi and author of K-POP CONFIDENTIAL Stephan Lee‘s THE LIBRARY IS OPEN, about a queer Korean-American’s plight to save his beloved local library after learning it is set to be demolished to make room for a swanky new mall, to Susan Van Metre at Candlewick, in a six-figure deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2025, by David Purse at Inked Entertainment (world English).

Esme Symes-Smith‘s next two novels in the Sir Callie series that expand on Callie’s world and the dangers within, to Liesa Abrams at Labyrinth Road, in a two-book deal, by Megan Manzano at D4EO Literary Agency.

Brigitta Blair‘s CRAMMING, a semi-autobiographical debut graphic novel about the pressures a girl and her friends face in eighth grade, including scoliosis bracing, school, sports, gender exploration, and the gift of learning to be at peace in your body, pitched for readers of SWIM TEAM and THE TRYOUT, to Jessica Anderson at Christy Ottaviano Books, for publication in winter 2027, by Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary Agency (NA).
Taylor Tracy‘s MURRAY OUT OF WATER, a novel-in-verse about a 12-year-old whose Jersey Shore home is destroyed by a hurricane; displaced to upstate New York and separated from her beloved ocean, she meets a boy who introduces her to the magical world of roller skating and drag shows and with his friendship, she is finally able to open up about questions she’s been having about her identity, her super-conservative family, and a secret magic that she and he share, to Alyssa Miele at Quill Tree, in a very nice deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2024, by Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media (world English).

Young Adult Fiction

Hayley Dennings‘s BITTERSWEET POISON, set during the most morally disruptive period in U.S. history, when Black bodies are experimented on and turned into bloodthirsty reapers and the saint empire is tasked with protecting human life, in which a saint heiress must kill her childhood best friend-turned-enemy and reaper but when a saint member is murdered and reapers murmur about a cure, the two girls are forced into an alliance and must keep their confusing feelings in check, to Wendy McClure at Sourcebooks Fire, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2024, by Emily Forney at BookEnds (NA).

Author of the forthcoming SAINT JUNIPER’S FOLLY Alex Crespo‘s THE WATCHER, a queer paranormal mystery, pitched as SAWKILL GIRLS by way of Twin Peaks, in which four teens track down a local cryptid that’s feeding off secrets before their own hidden truths are exposed to their coastal Oregon town, to Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen, for publication in spring 2025, by Mary C. Moore at Kimberley Cameron & Associates (world).

Eisner Award-winning graphic novelist Emil Ferris‘s graphic novel RECORDS OF THE DAMNED, set in mid-60s Chicago, a prequel to MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS, following its monster-loving protagonist’s queer coming-of-age and burgeoning friendship with her haunted neighbor; and A. ROSENBLOOM AND THE MARIONETTE MURDERS, a standalone noir revolving around a string of grisly murders, to Lisa Lucas and Zach Phillips at Pantheon, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Markus Hoffmann at Regal Hoffmann & Associates (world English).

National Book Award-winning author Kacen Callender‘s INFINITY ALCHEMIST, featuring a cast of trans and queer characters of color in a polyamorous triad, following a boy who illegally practices alchemy and is blackmailed into helping a college apprentice find the legendary Book of Source, said to make its reader all-powerful, pitting the two against dangerous rivals willing to kill for it, to Ali Fisher at Tor Teen, in a major deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in winter 2024, by Beth Phelan at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency (world English).

Michelle Kulwicki‘s AT THE END OF THE RIVER STYX, in which two boys—one who cheated death and one who is cursed to spend 500 years ferrying souls across the river Styx—aim to discover if their love is worth dying for as they find their lives intertwining in dreams at the edge of death’s domain; part queer romance, part meditation on grief and sacrifice, forcing readers to examine the complexities of their own relationships and what they’d be willing to give up for those they hold dear, to Tamara Grasty at Page Street Kids, in a nice deal, by Lauren Bittrich at Lucinda Literary (world).

THE GHOSTS OF ROSE HILL author R.M. Romero‘s DEATH’S COUNTRY, pitched as a queer Orpheus and Eurydice retelling in verse with a polyamorous triad, following two Miami teens who travel to the underworld to retrieve their girlfriend’s soul, so they can reunite it with her body before it’s too late, to Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen, for publication in summer 2024, by Rena Rossner at Deborah Harris Agency (world).

Vichet Chum’s KWEEN, about a queer Cambodian American teen’s journey to find her voice and step into her legacy, to Jennifer Ung at Quill Tree, for publication in fall 2023 (world).

Non-Fiction

Speaker, activist, and TikTok expert Ben Greene‘s MY CHILD IS TRANS, NOW WHAT?, a roadmap for transgender people, their families, and allies to support transgender people as they navigate their journeys, to Suzanne Staszak-Silva at Rowman & Littlefield, by Jessica Faust at BookEnds (world English).

Actor (Search Party, The Horror of Dolores Roach, Spoiler Alert) Jeffery Self‘s SELF-SABOTAGE, a collection of personal essays exploring everything from the author’s Southern upbringing to sex work to the glitz and glamour of being bipolar, to Rakesh Satyal at Harper One, by Alex Kane at William Morris Endeavor (NA).

Frances Cannon‘s FLING DICTION, poems about the vulnerability of desire that explore different styles of relationships, including queer love, polyamory, familial drama, dog and human companionship, and longing in isolation, through characters who find and lose each other in rural and urban settings and have their experiences intensified by the sensuality and ferocity of nature, to Dede Cummings at Green Writers Press, with Maria Tane editing, in an exclusive submission, for publication in spring 2024 (US).

Author of the forthcoming THE MALE GAZED Manuel Betancourt‘s HELLO STRANGER, combining cultural criticism and memoir to question prescribed notions of monogamy and coupledom, with a fresh consideration of modern queer dating, from ephemeral connections made through cruising and hookup apps to long-term polyamorous relationships, again to Alicia Kroell at Catapult, by Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret (NA).

Brittney Griner‘s memoir, recounting her detention, trial, and imprisonment in Russia, as well as the efforts in public and behind the scenes to bring her home, also documenting how the global #WeAreBG movement began as well as the issue of pay equity for women athletes in the United States—the very inequity that led Griner to play basketball in Russia, to Jordan Pavlin at Knopf, for publication in spring 2024, by Kim Witherspoon at Inkwell Management, with Jon Liebman at Brillstein Entertainment and Lindsay Kagawa Colas at Wasserman (world). Random House Children’s will publish a YA edition at a later date.

Hosts of the podcast GAYISH Kyle Getz and Mike Johnson‘s YOU’RE PROBABLY GAYISH, taking a look at gay stereotypes and why none of us are “gay enough,” but rather comfortably “gayish,” to Alex DiFrancesco at Jessica Kingsley, for publication in February 2025 (world).

Shopper’s Delight: Independent Bookstore Day (Tomorrow!)

In honor of Independent Bookstore Day tomorrow (April 29th), here are some of our favorite indies along with some handy links to special, signed (including bookplated), and/or personalized editions that can ship right to you! (Stores are listed alphabetically by state.) Please note that some of these are preorders, and some are already published titles. 

Note: Make sure you request the copy be signed/personalized in the comments of your order!

But first, a couple of queer-owned bookshops!

Book Soup, CA

Mysterious Galaxy, CA

The Ripped Bodice, CA

RJ Julia, CT

East City Bookshop, DC

Charis Books and More, GA

Little Shop of Stories, GA

Swamp Fox Bookstore, IA

Anderson’s Bookshop, IL

Copper Dog Books, MA

Not sure about signed books, but wanted to share their Trans Readathon list!

Porter Square Books, MA

Schuler Books, MI

Your Meryl Wilsner hotspot

Main Street Books, MO

Books of Wonder, NY

Buffalo Street Books, NY

Your Kalynn Bayron shop

The Dog Eared Book, NY

Northshire Books, NY

The Strand, NY

Grass Roots, OR

Your Rosiee Thor Hub

Powell’s, OR

White Whale Bookstore, PA

Parnassus Books, TN

Blue Willow Bookshop, TX

Your Alexis Hall mall!

One More Page, VA

Ballast Book Company, WA

Your Ash Van Otterloo spot!

Third Place Books, WA